Stauffer could earn another start for Padres

Stauffer could earn another start for Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Has Tim Stauffer put himself in line to make another start for the Padres when they face the Giants on Saturday?

While Padres manager Bud Black said that decision will be made later in the week, Tuesday's pregame workouts could have provided a key clue that the long reliever will indeed get the call to make his second start in a week.

Stauffer took batting practice with the rest of the San Diego starting pitchers currently in the rotation, while Kevin Correia and Wade LeBlanc, the other candidates to start Saturday, according to Black, did not.

Stauffer, generally used as the long reliever this season, allowed one run in four innings in a spot start in place of an ill Mat Latos on Monday. After the game, Black said Stauffer's performance warranted consideration to start again.

"He's been valuable [in long relief], but now we have a situation where we have to decide moving forward what's going to happen with a couple of our guys in our rotation," Black said.

Correia and LeBlanc have struggled in recent weeks, going 1-5 during their past six starts combined with a 12.96 ERA. And with the added arms in the San Diego bullpen because of roster expansion, the Padres have the ability to piece Stauffer together with a handful of relievers to fill out an entire game.

Stauffer said it doesn't matter whether he starts or stays in the bullpen down the stretch -- he's comfortable in either role.

"My arm feels as good as it's ever felt," he said. "Usually, as the year progresses, I actually feel better, and this year's no different. I think being in the bullpen, I was able to save some bullets, so to speak, and I feel just as strong now as I ever have."